Bedford Hills Train Victim Walter Liedtke, Met Curator, Fondly Remembered

BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. -- Metro-North train crash victim Walter Liedtke, 69, who has been identified as a Bedford Hills resident, worked as a European paintings curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

A YouTube video of Walter Liedtke, where he discusses Rembrandt. Photo Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Walter Liedtke
Walter Liedtke Photo Credit:

"It is with great sorrow that we report the loss of our dear and esteemed colleague, European paintings curator Walter Liedtke, in last night's Metro-North train crash," the Met announced Wednesday on its Facebook page. "The loss of Walter, who devoted 35 years to the Met, will be profoundly felt by all who knew and worked with him."

The Met, as a homage to Liedtke, linked to a 2011 episode of "Connections," which is called "Living With Vermeer." The episode is available here.

Thomas Campbell, who is director for the Met, told The New York Times that “he was one of our most esteemed curators and one of the most distinguished scholars of Dutch and Flemish painting in the world.”

"Walter was one of the pre-eminent scholars of Dutch and Flemish painting, whose contribution to the field lives on in a range of scholarly and popular publications," Campbell stated in a message posted to his Instagram account, which features images of various artworks. 

Campbell's Instagram message came along with a photo of "Aristotle with the Bust of Homer," a painting by Rembrandt. 

Liedtke spoke about the Rembrandt work in a recent webisode of "82nd and Fifth," Campbell added.

Sree Sreenivasan, the Met's chief digital officer, reacted with a post to his Facebook page, saying: "Walter was one of the world's top experts on Dutch painting and artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer (did you know the Met has 5 of the 30ish known surviving Vermeers? Walter helped care for them)."

Sreenivasan's Facebook post included a photo of Liedtke on a motorcycle in the Netherlands in 1971.

Liedtke's wife, Nancy is a retired teacher and worked at the Katonah-Lewisboro school district, a spokeswoman for the district confirmed. Multiple media outlets previously reported on her ties to the district.

A video of Liedtke discussing Rembrandt, which was posted by the Met to YouTube in 2008, is attached to this story and is also available here.


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